“Famine” Ruth 1:1-2

Over the next few posts I’m going to go through one of my favorite books, Ruth.

I have always loved the Book of Ruth. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read it. I’ve read commentary after commentary on it. I’ve taught it to the girls in my Sunday School class more than once. In fact, every time I go through it God shows me something new that I had never considered before. 

Ruth 1:1-2 (NIV)

“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.”

So, here we have Elimelek, Naomi, Mahlon & Kilion. They are living in the land that God promised to His people, when suddenly famine comes. Things were bad, it looked bleak. So what did they do? Elimelek decided to leave and move his family to the country of Moab.

So, why is this a big deal?

Well, for starters you should know that this was The Promised Land that they were leaving. When Moses freed God’s people from Egypt and they wandered the dessert for 40 years, this is the land that God said would be theirs (eventually).

Famine has come and instead of trusting that God would take care of them, just like He had with their ancestors, Elimelek decides to take matters into his own hands. He decides that he knows what is best for his family and they move to Moab.

Not only are they leaving Judah, they’re leaving Judah for Moab. Moab was a country that worshiped other gods. The Moabites didn’t worship the one true God.


When I read these first two verses I’m reminded of all of the times that I didn’t trust that God would take care of something for me.

I can think of so many times in my life that “famine” has come and I instantly react. I always want to fix it as soon as possible, so I decide on my own the best way to make everything better again and do it. I just go off of my own understanding and don’t turn to God for the solution.

Have you ever tried to fix something yourself without turning to God first? How did that turn out for you?

“Famine” in our lives can be all kinds of things. Family problems, friend problems, boyfriend/girlfriend problems, school, work, money… the list goes on and on.

The problem isn’t that we have problems, the problem is that we don’t turn to God for the solution.

We think we know best, and we put God aside for a while & we “fix” the problem.

 Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

In other words, don’t assume that you know the best way. Trust that God is God & that He knows the best way to handle it. Ask Him to help you, listen to Him, and do what he says to do. He will help to make it all ok.

Maybe you’re dealing with a “famine” situation right now in your life. Life is stressful & the bible says that we will have problems. Whatever you are dealing with God wants to guide you, you just have to turn to Him.


In my next post we’ll continue with Ruth 1:3-5

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New Study Series: The Book of Ruth

I want to let you know about a Study Series that I’ve been working on.

The Book of Ruth 

I’m really looking forward to working through the entire book with you verse by verse!

Ruth is a relatively small book that is packed with so much biblical truth that can be applied to your personal life & your Christian walk with Christ. I’ll be cross referencing it with other verses so you can take it all and apply it directly to things that are happening, have happened, or will happen in your life.

I hope you’ll join me as we dig deep into the book of Ruth together!

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, or Sign up for Email Updates and you can get notifications as soon as the Ruth Study begins!

Facing Your Fears With Faith

The other day I was reading an article by one of my favorite bloggers Elisa Pulliam of More To Be Ministry. If you haven’t checked out Elisa’s blog or the More To Be Ministry page You Should! As a mentor of teen girls I love it! She also has resources for Teen Girls & Moms of Teen Girls on More To Be. Seriously I can’t get enough… I’m a More To Be fangirl.

On Elisa’s blog she answered some questions from Charrissa Steyn about Facing Your Fears With Faith. I was inspired by Elisa’s answers. I felt like she was inside my head! At the end of her post she challenged other bloggers to answer the questions as well, so I decided to go for it.

Below you will find the questions created by Charissa Steyn & I have answered them as best I can. Thanks for reading & go by and check out Elisa’s & Charissa’s pages when you have a chance! You can find Elisa Pulliam at www.elisapulliam.com More To Be Ministry at www.moretobe.com and Charissa Steyn at www.charissasteyn.com.

Question #1:                                                                                                                      

Part of seeing life as an adventure means we are prepared for danger, for risks, for obstacles, for challenges. We must realize there will be times when we want to stop, run away, turn back, or give up. Could you give us some specific instances in your life when you wanted to turn back or give up?

There have been many times that I have wanted to turn back or give up. Unfortunately that is a pattern for me. I remember learning in school about the “Fight or Flight” instinctual response that we all have when we are under heavy stress or in a scary situation. My response is usually “Flight”.

An example that instantly comes to mind is actually getting married. It was about 6 months before our scheduled wedding date and I started having second thoughts, not because I didn’t love him or had doubts about him, but because I had doubts about myself.

My parents filed for divorce when I was 18 years old and it was hard. I was devastated and I never wanted to go through something like that. I began to doubt myself and was scared for the future. Would I just end of divorced like my parents? Could I actually be married to someone for the rest of my life? After several weeks filled with questions, self-doubt, and a lot of prayer & counsel, I came to the realization that this engagement & marriage was of God. We said “I Do” in June & now after almost 9 years of marriage I can honestly say I cannot image my life without my husband.

Question #2:                                                                                                                   

Also, what were/are some of the challenges and risks you’ve encountered when it comes to your business, mentoring ministry, motherhood/family life, etc?

Family & Motherhood have been a huge challenge for me. I had an ideal in my head of the type of mother I wanted to be, which included staying at home with my children. After 2 years of staying at home with our oldest daughter I learned a lot about myself, the most important was that God did not make me to be a stay at home mom. I felt worthless not being able to be this mom that I wanted to be, but over time I’ve learned to accept how God made me. I am actually a better mom to my girls when I work & then spend my time at home focused on them.

Mentoring has also presented many challenges & risks. Sharing my heart with the girls I teach and mentor has been difficult. Sharing my personal testimony with them was terrifying, but it helped to build trust and begin some open & honest conversations that needed to happen. I have had some girls that I mentor share some very personal things with me. Some of these personal things are very serious & I had no experience with them. I am so thankful for amazing resources & people to refer them to so they could get the help that they needed.

Question #3:                                                                                                                   

Could you share with us some of the general internal and external obstacles you’ve faced and are facing when it comes to pursuing the God-given dreams on your heart?

Internally I am dealing with self-doubt. This is a continuing battle that I have fought my entire life. I am my own worst critic and I tend to think that nothing I do is good enough or worthy of any praise that I receive. I am very fearful of rejection as well, which creates a huge obstacle when it comes to promoting my blog.

The main external obstacle that I deal with is time. Being a wife, mom, working full time, blogging,  teaching Sunday school, being a Youth Worker, & directing a Youth Drama Team (all of which I feel called to do) can be difficult to manage. Time management would already be a problem for most people with all of these activities; it is even more difficult for me because I have Attention Deficit Disorder.

Question #4:                                                                                                                    

How have you learned to overcome and battle these fears? Any wisdom or resources you can share with us?

  1. My prayer journal is a constant reminder of how God answers prayers, not in our timing but in His. I have a journal entry from my first anniversary that I go back to often. I had woken up that morning & taken a pregnancy test that had come back negative. It was the 3rd or 4th that had come back negative in over a month. I had been so sure that time that I was pregnant & my prayer entry was so sad. I poured my heart out to God & asked him for strength and guidance. I told Him that I knew it was His timing that mattered, not mine. I prayed for him to help us. I love reading this entry just because I know how that prayer was answered. Our first daughter was born exactly 9 months to the day that I wrote that journal entry.
  2. When I become anxious or fearful I focus more on His word. I find it so comforting to find verses that deal with what I am going through. I am a very visual person, so I find it helpful to post those verses in places I spend a lot of time in. My favorite verse to battle my fear & anxieties is Exodus 14:14, in fact it is posted in my kitchen. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
  3. I also spend more in depth time in prayer. After I have spent some serious time in deep prayer, giving everything over to God and asking Him to guide me & give me strength, I feel like a weight has been lifted. It’s like therapy!

Question #5:                                                                                                                    

Can you give us some examples of times you’ve moved forward and taken action (even though you were afraid!) and seen God do amazing things?

I was very scared to volunteer to teach my Junior High Girls Sunday School Class. We were separating our two Youth Sunday School Classes into five and teachers were needed. I was already helping out with the Youth on Wednesday Nights and felt God calling me to volunteer to teach. I was scared to say anything though. I worried about whether I knew enough about the bible, if the girls would like my teaching style, even if I would have enough time.

I finally decided to go talk to our Youth Pastor about it and he encouraged me to teach. He was already praying that I would volunteer because he felt that God wanted me in the position. I began teaching and I am so glad I did. I love my class! I have been so blessed by all of them throughout the past few years and I have had the opportunity to be a part of their spiritual growth. It is through my class that God called me to mentor several of them one on one & even to blog. I look forward to seeing how God wants to use me through this ministry.

What do you do when faced with a challenge? How do you combat fear with faith?      I would love to hear from you!

Welcome To The New Made To Bloom Site!

I am so excited to be here at WordPress!

After some careful consideration, discussion, & prayer I decided to move the blog. I love the new setup & possibilities and I hope you do to!

I moved all of my previous posts over with me so once you’re here there’s no need to go back to the old Weebly site.

I want to give a big shout out to the awesome ladies at Faithful Bloggers! Kelly & Tishia have been very helpful to be as I embark on this blogging journey. So I’m going to use this first post on the new site to brag on them a little.

I had the opportunity to join a new Christian Blogging Tribe with Faithful Bloggers. This is a new BETA Tribe Group that has just begun. I stepped out in faith and joined & I’m so glad I did. I’ve already learned a lot about blogging, social media, & (now) WordPress. I’ve also begun to connect with some amazing & sweet Christian bloggers. I am so excited for the future of the Faithful Bloggers Tribe!

Are you a Christian Blogger? Would you like to get in on an awesome opportunity for fellowship, learning, & support? Go to Faithful Blogger Tribe and check out the details! I would love for you to join me over in the Faithful Blogger Forum!

Shout Aloud & Sing For Joy!

This past Saturday was an incredibly warm & beautiful February day!
Usually at this point in February we’re hunkered down in our home keeping warm. I’ll admit it. After the festivities of Christmas & New Years are over, I’m basically ready for Spring. So I was thanking God for a nice warm day so that I could recharge on sunshine and make it a few more months until Spring arrives.

I opened all of the windows in the house, turned on my Gungor Pandora station & cleaned my poor neglected kitchen. Sun streaming in, fresh air rejuvenating the house (and me), I stood at the kitchen sink & watched my daughters and husband playing in our backyard. I couldn’t help but smile.

It was then that I really started listening to the song that was playing. I became completely overwhelmed with love & thankfulness. Everything that I have, our home, our daughters, my husband, even my job have all been desires that I have prayed for, sometimes even pleaded God for.

All at once I remembered

  • Being told that my then boyfriend & I would never last because no one finds their future husband their first semester of college.
  • Crying & confiding to a close group of women at church on our anniversary because another pregnancy test had come up negative.
  • Crying & praying with my husband after our 2nd appointment when we found out that although I was pregnant I also was in a very early stage of cervical cancer.
  • Receiving a clean bill of health from my surprised doctor as I held my infant daughter in my arms.
  • Celebrating with my husband after he was offered his first (and current) teaching position.
  • Finally purchasing our home that was NOT a fixer upper.
  • Informing my surprised husband that I was indeed pregnant again.

As I stood there, my eyes welling up with thankful tears, I raised my hands high and praised the Lord for everything He has done for me. It continued to build up inside of me until I finally had to fully give in and kneel on my kitchen floor, crying & praising God.

Now I must interrupt this awesome picture with what happened next because it’s pretty common for things in our life to have an “and then…” turn in the story.

AND THEN…My husband came in the house, walked in the kitchen and immediately assumed that I had injured myself somehow while cleaning. This serious, heartfelt moment of worship ended in tears & laughter after he calmed down and I explained that I was just fine… MORE than fine.

After I got up and cleaned my face off I started to think again about all of the awesome things God has done. Not just in my life but in the lives of others, of everyone. We are told to count our blessings and be thankful, but how often are we truly overwhelmed by all that he has done & is doing in our lives. I know that sometimes my prayers of thanksgiving, although genuine, are maybe not a deeply set as they should be. I feel that he deserves more than a prayer list of the items & people that I am thankful for. He DESERVES to be honored. He DESERVES to be praised for the Awesome and Holy God that He is.

“Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
    for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
                                        -Isaiah 12:6

I came across this verse and I absolutely love it! I feel like it completely describes the feeling of being overwhelmed with who God is & what he has done for us.

Through all of the storms and trials of my life He has been there. He has shown up in doctors offices, living rooms, classrooms, & parking lots. He has answered prayers, comforted me, & healed me. Most of all, through his son Jesus Christ, He has forgiven me and is helping me grow one day at a time. He is awesome & He deserves all of my praise.

I would love to hear what God has done for you!
Leave a comment below, or email me your story!

9 Tips For a More Intentional Prayer Life

Prayer has been a major struggle for me in my walk with Christ.

Some weeks I am so good about remembering to turn to Him. I am in a constant prayerful conversation with God and it makes day to day life easier.

Other weeks, I slack. I forget to turn to God in times of need and instead I turn to my own understanding. I tell others I will pray for them and then soon forget to follow through. Those weeks are very difficult.

For the past year I’ve been trying to figure out how I can be more intentional with my conversations with God. I have come up with some ways to not only set aside time for Intentional Prayer, but also some times that I can just take advantage of time that could otherwise be wasted. I have combined all of these little “tips” here. Read through and take what you can, or what you need. I don’t do ALL of these everyday, but I’ve found ways to remind myself to continue my ongoing “conversation” with God.

1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier.
I am putting this as #1 because although this is the hardest thing for me to apply (I am NOT a morning person), it has been the best. I am not a morning devotion person because, as I said, I am NOT a morning person.  I DO like praying in the morning though. I wake up, get out of bed, go sit at my makeup table & pray. I pray for myself, my family, the people I will come in contact with, & the day in general. That’s it. I feel so much more confident about the day when I start it this way.

2. Post an up to date prayer list on your bathroom mirror.
The next thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth, which doesn’t take much brain power, so I go through a couple of specific prayer requests while brushing. Personally, I reserve this time for some specific people in my life. My mirror prayer list doesn’t change much.

3. Laminate a prayer list to put up in your shower.
This works for me because I only share my shower with my husband and we share all of our prayer concerns with each other. If you share your shower with your siblings or parents you may or may not like this option. You could make this specific prayer (like mine) or more general. This list could just say, “Parents, Siblings, Friends, Teachers…”. Something that general may not be as odd to put up in a shared space but could still prompt you to remember to pray for them.

4. Pray for people you Text or Call.
Have you ever just said a quick little prayer for someone you were texting? Prayer can be quick & still meaningful. Lately when I have to text or call someone I say a quick prayer for them as I hit “send” or “call”. It usually goes something like this, “Lord, I pray that you continue to watch over ______. Give her strength for whatever she is doing today. Amen”

5. Prayer Apps
Since we’re talking about your cell phone. Do you have an app for that? Now, this is actually one thing that I don’t have yet. I’m about to get a smart phone (I’ve been a hold out because I am a cell phone abuser… I break things) and I am definitely going to put a prayer app on my phone so I can be reminded to stop and pray for specific things. If a friend is having surgery I want to have a reminder to pray for her before it happens, not after I see on facebook that she is in the recovery room… ooops!

6. Remember to write down & save prayer requests.
This has been the hardest for me to do. I am HORRIBLE at remembering prayer requests. Again, this is why I will be getting a prayer app when I get a smart phone. The app isn’t going to instantly solve my problem though, I have to remember to type it into the app. For now I’ve been keeping a cute little notebook in my purse so I can jot down who & what to pray for. Once I started writing them down I actually realized that I was leaving out a lot of people! Between Sunday Morning Church, my Junior High girls class, my adult small group, Youth Group on Wednesday Nights, and working in the church office full time I have accumulated quite a list. I’m so glad I started writing it all down!

7. Keep a prayer journal.

This is something I have done for quite a while. I have seen prayers answered through my prayer journal. I can track my personal growth as I turn the pages. I love it. It is more than a diary. It is my heart on paper. It is my love song to God. I write down everything from frustrations, anger, worries, concerns, praise, & thanksgiving. I write down the verses I am reading for future reference, I doodle, & I write. Find a notebook that you really like. If you like it, you’ll use it. Find a great pen, one that feels good in your hand and writes easily. There are no guidelines for a prayer journal, just like there are no guidelines to personal prayer. Just do it.

8. Pray every time you wash your hands.
I know this may sound silly, but I send up a prayer of thanks to God every time I wash my hands. I like short prayers because they work with my ADD short attention span. I find something to give thanks to God for each time. Sometimes it’s for huge things, sometimes it’s little things. It doesn’t matter. I believe that prayer is a conversation & a relationship building between you and God. It can’t all be “Gimme, Gimme”, you need to thank him for the things He does for you.

9. Find a Prayer Partner.
One of the best ways to stay intentional about your prayer life is to have an accountability partner. This prayer partner can help in many ways. This can be a person that you exchange personal prayer requests with, that you pray with, or even send each other little reminders throughout the day seeing if you have each taken some time to pray. I love the idea of accountability partners, especially in prayer. There is something so wonderful about believers coming together to lift each other up to The Lord.

So, there you go! 9 tips help you be more intentional with your prayer life. Take them & figure out what works for you.

Let me know what works. Do you have anything to add? Have you found something that you would like to recommend to others? Comment below and let me know!

Good vs. Godly Men

So it’s been a rough few days. Nothing bad has happened. No one in our family is sick. *THANK YOU LORD! I SO APPRECIATE THAT!* I have just felt overwhelmed & frustrated.

There’s a lot going on right now. Church events, School events, birthdays, baby showers, etc… My mind just feels like it’s swimming with everything that is coming up. I feel like I can’t get ahead of everything and because of that I feel extremely frustrated.

This all came to a head last night. I could not just relax and let go. After the girls went to bed I found myself crying to my husband about it all. I finally said to him,

“The worst part of it all is that I KNOW I should give it all to God but I haven’t been! My prayers lately have been hollow and empty. I pray for everyone & everything except myself and my frustrations!”

Now, before I continue I have to say that what he said to me COMPLETELY explains the main reason I knew I was supposed to marry him. Forget my puppy love for him, his blonde hair, his blue eyes, the fact that he’s a great cook… THIS is why I married him.

He said, “Let’s pray about it now… Together.”

AMEN HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE LORD!

You see, my husband isn’t a “Good Man”, he’s a “Godly Man”. As a husband he is the spiritual leader of our home. He looks out for our physical & spiritual well being. He cares about my relationship with Jesus Christ and takes an active role in my spiritual growth.

We sat together last night and prayed. We asked God for peace, guidance, & strength. We thanked Him for the blessings He has given us & for the plans he has for us that we don’t even know about yet. As my husband prayed over me I cried and felt The Lord remind me that He has given me a partner to share my burdens with.


The problem is when I was a teenager “Godly Man” was not at the top of my priority list when it came to “Qualities of my Future Husband”.

By 17 I had an ongoing mental list of qualities that were important to me in a future husband.
1. MUST be smart
2. MUST be creative
3. MUST love music
4. MUST have a sense of humor
5. MUST be driven & be hard working
6. SHOULD be a Christian

That’s right… I put SHOULD be a Christian. I can honestly say that whether my husband knew Jesus Christ as his Savior & Lord really seemed more like an added bonus than a necessity. Looking back it really should have been my main priority. I could have saved myself a lot of heartache if it had been important to me when I started dating.

I’ve had some girls ask me how to know who to date or marry. I like to share this bit of advice that I got after I was already dating my husband. I wish I had gotten it sooner.

“Run as fast as you can toward Jesus Christ. Run the race described in Hebrews 12:1. Make Jesus your priority and focus. As you are running, look around you and see who is there. Who is running with you toward Jesus Christ? Those are the people to surround yourself with. Those are your best friends, accountability partners, & dating prospects.”

A person does not know what REAL love is unless he or she has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior. The love of Christ is what REAL love is. The love of Christ is forgiving, full of grace, full of mercy, and never ending. He gave everything, he gave his life for us. If you don’t know Him, then you don’t know what love should look like.

A “Godly Man” will not only love you and treat you the way that Jesus would treat you, but he will also invest in your relationship with Christ. If he is truly a follower of Jesus Christ, he will want to find a wife who has a relationship with Christ. 2 Corinthians 6:14 calls us to not be “yoked together with unbelievers”. In order to be the spiritual head of your household he has to lead & help you grow.

I am so thankful that God put my husband and I on the same college campus. I am thankful that He arranged for us to be introduced to each other. I am thankful that my in-laws raised him in a Godly Christian Home. I can’t imagine what our marriage would be like without OUR faith & OUR trust in The Lord.

What do you think? Do you have an example of a Godly man in your life that you would like to share? Please feel free to leave a comment below, I would love you hear from you!

This post has been shared on the Grace & Truth Linkup!

Rest… Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That! …But I Should!

So I’m sitting in a condo, out of town, away from home, away from work, away from kids, away from distractions. It’s CRAZY quiet because my husband and our friends that we came here with are at their conference.

I am alone with coffee and quiet.

I know that God has provided this time for me to rest. I NEVER get time like this. SERIOUSLY! This is a GIFT!

So why am I so restless? Why can’t I sit here and soak this up? Why do I feel like I need to get up and do something?

I am realizing that I DON’T KNOW HOW TO REST!

Do you rest? Do you ever take time to not do anything and just sit and reflect upon the things that God has done and is doing in your life?

We are called to rest. God talks about rest OFTEN in His Word. I mean… even God stopped and took the time to rest and He was the all powerful, almighty creator of EVERYTHING!

Made To Bloom

Made To Bloom

After God created the Heavens & the Earth he took a day to rest. GOD TOOK A WHOLE DAY TO REST… I have problems taking 30 minutes to rest!

I look around me and we all are GO, GO, GO! No one stops. Even those of us that are Christians and know that God called for us to take times to rest! We fill our hours with activities that are, when you look at them, “Good” activities. We work hard at work/school. We help our families, friends, & neighbors. We serve in church with different ministries. We volunteer with community organizations.

These are all inherently “Good” things, but even “Good” things can be used to fill up our time and distract us from the things that God wants of us and for us.

I personally have an issue with finishing a project or event and then jumping right in and looking at what’s next.

Scripture tells us in Genesis 2 that God finished what he was working on and then STOPPED. Not permanently, but for a day. He rested.

When we have finished a project, event, game, season, even a day or week. We should take some time to rest and reflect. We should thank God for the things he has done. Thank Him for what he is doing at that moment. Ask Him what he wants us to do differently in the future. Then we should rest & listen.

We can’t expect to hear an answer from The Lord if we don’t take the time to stop, quiet our minds, and listen.

I am really writing this as a lecture to myself.

My ADD mind is making a list of things that I should do right now.
1. Write another blog after this one.
2. Study for my Sunday School Class.
3. Work on writing a chapter of my book.
4. Do my nails because they look gross.
5. Pull out my agenda calendar and fill out the February month of events.

But I’m not going to.
It’s going to be hard, but I’m going to sit here, drink my coffee, read a devotional or two, and rest.

Do you think I should set a timer? 

Just Kidding!
Maybe…

Do you set aside time to rest? What does rest look like to you? Leave a comment below and tell me about it.

A New Generation of Addicts

When I think of an addict, I get a picture in my head of a person sitting on the floor in the fetal position. She’s rocking back & forth with a wile look in her eye.

She is jumpy and her eye makeup is running because she has been wiping away the tears. She needs something desperately, and feels like she can’t live without it.

It’s scary & sad.


Is this you when you can’t find your cell phone?

You may have chuckled a little to yourself just now, but unfortunately I’m not joking.

Our Youth Group goes to this amazing church camp for a week each summer. It is the most fun, energy filled, youth centered, & Jesus focused week. Seriously, the week after camp we all tend to get homesick… for camp! That’s how much we love it there.

The camp doesn’t have a lot of rules, but one of the BIGGIES is… no cell phones. No Joke, if a camp counselor sees a Youth with their phone in the middle of camp they will take it away & it will be mailed back home at the Youth’s expense. I agree with the rule. Too often we are too caught up in what is going on in the world and we can’t focus on what God is trying to tell us.

So when we go over camp rules a few weeks before we leave each year it always amazes/scares me to see the reactions from some of the Youth (mainly girls) who have not been to camp before.

They Freak Out. I mean REALLY freak out. One year, a few days before camp, a girl told me she was already having anxiety attacks just THINKING about being away from her cell phone for a week.

Cell phones have become a crutch to way too many teens & adults. (Don’t worry, I know it’s not just teens) The next time you’re out somewhere eating look around and see how many people are on their cell phones. Now, how many of those on cell phones are sitting with other people? Talk about a quiet meal…


So… Are you addicted to your cell phone?
1. Do you constantly check your phone even when it hasn

2. Do get a panicked feeling when you reach in your pocket/purse & can’t find your phone?

3. Do you put off schoolwork, sleep, or other responsibilities to be on the phone?

4. Do you feel depressed when you haven’t been on your phone?

Maybe you need to take a serious look at your NEED for your phone.

A phone can be very important. When in an emergency it can honestly be a lifesaver, but be careful of how much you depend on your phone. Is it what makes you happy? Is your social media & texting how you feel appreciated & loved. Do you spend more time on your phone that with actual people… talking… not on the phone? Are you spending more time on your phone than reading your bible? Praying? Spending time with God?

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”  Exodus 20:2-3 (NIV)

Has your phone become your addiction?

If so, take it to God. Confess that you have put it before him & other things. Ask him for help with this temptation.

Maybe you need to talk to your parents about setting up some specific rules about cell phone use.

And Guess What…
There’s An App For That!

No Joke! I found out while researching this that there are actually apps that are supposed to help you with your cell phone addiction.

1. PAUSE
For iPhone
Pause Description:
It might not be a drug, but a digital based addiction can still keep you away from your real life.

2. BreakFree
For Android
BreakFree Description:
BreakFree is the best Android app for monitoring and taking control of your smartphone usage habits and your digital life. It helps you check your addiction levels and also helps you unplug and disconnect from your smartphone. With BreakFree you can focus on what’s important.

Disclaimer: I am in NO WAY endorsing either of these apps. I do NOT own either of them nor am I being paid to mention them. I ONLY give them as an option that teens should discuss with their parents as a possibility.

Take a step back. Put the phone down. Go find something to do without it. Maybe even have a REAL conversation with someone.

I would love to hear from you! Do you struggle with this? Do your teens struggle with it? Leave a comment below.

When you don’t feel God

Have you ever felt far away from God?

I was listening to the radio on my way to work the other day and the two morning DJ’s started talking about feeling like God isn’t there, like “God where are you?”. One of the DJ’s said he felt like that sometimes & the other said that he has never felt that way. So I had to ask myself, “Have I ever felt that way, and if so why? What can be done about that?”

First let me say that YES, I have felt like that. I have felt distant from God in good times and bad times. It creeps up on me. Everything seems to be going fine and then all of the sudden (or at least it FEELS all of the sudden) I feel like I’ve lost that close relationship with God and I can’t feel his presence. The feeling is awful! It’s lonely & empty.

So I ask YOU again. Have you ever felt far away from God?

If you honestly have never felt distant or far away from God then FANTASTIC! I’m so glad that you have never in your Christian walk felt this way. It is something that I wish none of us would ever experience because of how awful it feels.

If you have felt that way know that you are not alone. (And I mean that in more ways than one!) There are many Christians who have walked through difficult valleys in their life and felt alone and out of the presence of God.

The problem with saying “I don’t feel that God is with me” is the key word in that statement. FEEL. You may not FEEL God with you or around you, but that does not mean he isn’t there. He is ALWAYS there.

When Jesus Christ, God’s Holy Son, died for our sins as the perfect sacrifice, God not only created a way for us to go to Heaven but he also sent the Holy Spirit to be a messenger or presence in us. The Holy Spirit reminds us of Jesus Christ’s teachings.

This Holy Trinity of God, The Son (Jesus Christ), and The Holy Spirit means that:

1. God created us, loves us, & sent His one and only Son to die for our sins.

2. Jesus Christ died for our sins & if we accept that he is The Son of God, confess we are sinners, ask Christ to forgive us our sins, & to come into our hearts & lives we can have everlasting life through him. Jesus promised to guide us through his teachings, God’s Word.

3. The Holy Spirit was sent to be the presence of God & The Son that helps guide us. When we do FEEL God’s presence we are FEELING God through The Holy Spirit.

In John 14:25 & 26, Jesus is talking to the disciples about what will happen when he is gone. He has just said that those who love Him will obey Him. Those who do not love Him will not obey His teachings. Then he says,


All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all the things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

You are NEVER alone!

Ok, so now you KNOW… but, sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes just KNOWING you’re not alone doesn’t change the fact that you FEEL alone. So how did we get to feeling this way? How can we change it?

First you have to ask yourself, “Am I being a good friend?”

I’m not talking about a good friend to your BFF, your classmates, or even your siblings. Are you being a good friend to Jesus?

Think of how you would grade yourself.
Are you spending time with God? (prayer, church, reading your bible, worship…)
Are you listening to God (obeying his teachings, having a quiet time in prayer & quieting your mind to be open to him…)
Are you talking to God?
Are you thanking Him for the Blessings he gives you? (Home, Family, Food, Extras that aren’t NEEDS…)
Do you need to ask forgiveness for something, but haven’t?

It all comes back to our RELATIONSHIP with God. A healthy relationship comes from two individuals doing their part. God loves you & promised to listen and take care of you. So are you doing your part?

Sometimes when we FEEL distant from God it’s because we have been slowly slipping away and suddenly realized that there is an ocean between us.

So jump in & start improving your relationship with him. Pray even though it’s hard, read even though you think it might be boring, go to church to worship The Lord & be in fellowship with other believers. Share with close friends & family members what you are feeling.

Keep reminding yourself… I AM NOT ALONE! HE IS ALWAYS WITH ME!

I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment below.